Author Archives: Erik Brooks

Getting People To Slow Down

20140720_200421American Family Insurance — the Jim Incledon Agency — has again stepped up with a donation of “slow down” yard signs to the city. Want one or three for your neighborhood? Contact South Milwaukee Police Lt. Chad Milow at 768-8060 or by email.

Thanks to Jim and American Family for the continued partnership — and the joint commitment to make our neighborhoods safer.

The Incledon Agency is located in Sunrise Plaza in South Milwaukee, 2410 10th Ave.


Filed under Community, Police

Can You Help At Lionsfest?

The more I’ve gotten involved with the South Milwaukee Lions, the more it’s become clear: It takes a village to put on Lionsfest.

And we need your help. Interested in volunteering for a few hours? Sign up here.

From grill to games to servers to cleanup, there is lots to do. Please consider helping out at the Lions’ biggest annual fundraiser.

Check out the full Lionsfest schedule here on Facebook. And we’ll see you next Friday through Sunday!

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Can You Taste The Coffee And Donuts?

1403523624043 interrupter_cupsMy answer to that question: Yes!

I am told the new Dunkin’ Donuts at Chicago Avenue and Drexel Boulevard is set to open on Wednesday, July 23. Thanks to Alderman Pat Stoner for the tip … and welcome to South Milwaukee, Dunkin’ Donuts.

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Construction Update: 11th Avenue, Sherman, Blake

Quick construction update …

The new-and-improved 11th Avenue is now open, with the construction project between Milwaukee and Michigan Avenues nearly complete. (Check out the photo below.)

The road will be home to the South Milwaukee Downtown Market once again starting Thursday, July 31, as the market moves from its temporary home at 12th and Milwaukee to its traditional location.

The South Milwaukee City Council also approved at its meeting Tuesday spending more than $250,000 to repave Sherman Avenue Fifth to Ninth and Blake Avenue Eighth to Ninth, in addition to water main work on Sherman.


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Celebrating South Milwaukee Heritage Days

Heritage Days are the best days of the year to be a South Milwaukeean. And with a full roster of events, there is something for everyone, including a few exciting new additions for 2014.

Here is a list …

Monday, July 21

DARE Golf Outing

The big annual fundraiser for the South Milwaukee Police Department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education program is held at Oakwood Golf Course, with lunch and beverages included. A raffle is also planned. Cost is $80 per person. To sign up, contact Officer Lewison at 768-8060. Learn more in my previous post.

Tuesday, July 22

Ice Cream Social

The event is from 4 to 8 p.m. at St. Luke’s United Church of Christ, 2200 18th Ave. There will hot dogs and brats, a raffle and band concert. And ice cream, of course.

Wednesday, July 23

Firehouse Spaghetti Dinner

Dinner is served from 4:30 to 8 p.m. for this outstanding community event held at the South Milwaukee Fire Department, 929 Marshall Court. Di Carlo Trattoria & Pizzeria caters.

Thursday, July 24-Saturday, July 26

Drama at the Depot

In a new Heritage Week event (and hopefully an annual one) outdoor performances are planned for 7:30 p.m. each night at the 121-year-old railroad station at 11th and Madison Avenues. Musicians, dancers and more are scheduled as part of this collaboration between the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center and The Battery Factory. Learn more in my previous post. Performances are free, open to the public and appropriate for all ages.

Thursday, July 24

Evening on the Avenue

What a great collection of downtown events! Food, music, demonstrations and much, much more are on the agenda for the big annual downtown street party, as well as Drama at the Depot and the South Milwaukee Downtown Market. Also scheduled: the grand reopening of Sorce Martial Arts, which is celebrating its terrific expansion and renovation.

Friday, July 25-Sunday, July 27


The South Milwaukee Lions’ biggest annual fundraiser features food, music, rides, games and plenty of family fun. There is a South Milwaukee High School all-class reunion and car show Friday night, and Family Day on Sunday, with lots in between. Here is the Facebook page.

Saturday, July 26

Heritage Days Parade

The city’s biggest parade runs from 8th and Milwaukee, west on Milwaukee to 16th, then north to Lionsfest, with dozens of entrants and surely lots of surprises. Look for me and my family on the fire truck.

The Great Duck Race
This is a really fun event for a great cause put on by the Friends of Mill Pond and Oak Creek Watercourse. Ducks set off in Oak Creek at 2 p.m. from 15th and Milwaukee.

Learn more about all of these events at And I’ll see you around town!

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Filed under Community, South Milwaukee

Golfers Wanted For Monday DARE Fundraiser

The annual DARE Golf Outing is set for Monday, and they are still looking for golfers.

Interested? Bring you or your foursome!

The event is at Oakwood Golf Course, with a shotgun start set for 8 a.m. Cost is $80 per golfer.

Lunch is provided, as are beverages, including beer donated by MillerCoors, me and Alderman Pat Stoner. Raffle tickets are available for purchase for a chance to win one of several great prizes.

For more information, contact Officer Lewison at 768-8060.

This is the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program’s biggest fundraiser, so please consider stepping up to help this terrific program.

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Filed under Police, South Milwaukee

Three Nights Of Drama At The Depot

Depot-in-SpringAs if Heritage Week wasn’t special enough … now comes this unique special event at perhaps the city’s most iconic structure.

Here is the lineup for Drama at the Depot, with outdoor performances planned for 7:30 p.m. each night July 24-26 at the 121-year-old depot at 11th and Madison Avenues.

The performers …

Mississippi Sawyer is a band featuring conventional and improvised acoustic instruments.  To the delight of the listeners, Mississippi Sawyer brings together the sounds of the banjo, kick-drum suitcase, guitar, washtub bass, washboard, singing saw, Irish whistle, kazoos and other homemade instruments.

Cadance Collective will perform a Folk Suite of works inspired by several folk songs of the 19th century including ‘Oh My Darling, Clementine’ and ‘I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.’  The third song, ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ deals with the theme of wandering along life’s path, as so many drifters did following the birth of the U.S. railroad system.  Cadance Collective uses flute, cello, ukulele, voice, and dance, to translate these old familiar songs into a modern language.

Dance Revolution Milwaukee (DRM) performance explores how we make and maintain relationships in a world filled with hustle and bustle.  The work incorporates the theme of interconnectedness between people and places as well as the history of South Milwaukee and the South Milwaukee Railroad Depot.  The piece, Threefold, “physicalizes” the need to keep changing and also the importance of staying connected to people and places most important to us.

Kath Vandenberg’s theatre piece about a woman in her mid-20’s remembering how she used to come and play on the platform and in the area surrounding the depot.  This fictional woman grew up in the neighborhood of the depot and will act out brief encounters with the mysterious and interesting passengers that she meets on the train.

These performances are free, open to the public and appropriate for all ages. I am really looking forward to this, and I hope you are too. What a great way to show off a beautifully restored building.

The performances are presented by the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center and The Battery Factory.

Here is the press release.

Learn more about the history of the depot here.

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Saturday Night’s Rain

Update: We also had a sewage overflow.

In case you were wondering, we had more than three inches of rain in South Milwaukee on Saturday evening alone.

To be exact, our Wastewater Treatment Plant reported 3.02 inches during 7 and 10 p.m., approximately.

It was among the highest amounts in the area, according to the National Weather Service.

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Filed under South Milwaukee, Weather

South Milwaukee Youth Theater Stages “Annie” And “Seussical”

South Milwaukee Youth Theater is a terrific local organization, one that I’ve gotten to see firsthand through the acting and singing talents of my two children the last two summers. The fruits of their labor are coming up the next two weekends, with shows at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center.

  • The junior cast is staging “Annie” on Saturday, July 19, with shows at 1 and 6 pm. Look for my two kids in this one :)
  • The senior cast is putting on “Seussical” at 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, July 25 and 26, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 27.

Tickets for all shows  are available now the the SMPAC box office or before the shows.

Get a sneak preview of both shows at the South Milwaukee Downtown Market on Thursday, July 17, starting around 3 p.m. The kids will be performing a few numbers for attendees.

Also, the SMYT is holding a benefit car wash on Friday, July 18, at South Milwaukee High School, from 1 to 3 p.m. Cost is $5. All proceeds go towards props and make-up purchases for the two SMYT productions.

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Reminder: Meet The Mayor On Saturday

A final reminder … I’m holding my third Meet the Mayor session on Saturday at Max A. Sass & Sons Funeral and Cremation Services, 1314 Manitoba Ave.

I’ll be there from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., so stop by and say hi. Bring your questions, comments, concerns and, most importantly, ideas too. Learn more here.

I’ll be announcing the schedule for the balance of the year soon.

See you Saturday!

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Free Lunch For Kids This Summer At Two South Milwaukee Schools

Lakeview lunchKids can get a free, healthy lunch at two locations this summer.

The South Milwaukee School District is again offering free lunch at the high school, through the federal Summer Food Service Program. The program started June 23, and on days when summer school is in session, they are regularly serving more than 300 kids. It continues through August 8.

Learn more here.

Also, through the resourcefulness and volunteer spirit of several area residents, lunches are also being offered at Lakeview each weekday this summer, thanks to a partnership with the Hunger Task Force and Salvation Army. Here are more details from Diane Carrier, who has helped lead the effort … the latest example of South Milwaukeeans stepping up to make a real difference.

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Another South Milwaukee House Fire — And, Again, No Injuries

710 Marshall - 1 710 Marshall - 2From South Milwaukee Fire Chief Joe Knitter …

At approximately 6:36PM this evening, SMFD rec’d a 9-1-1 call for a house fire at 701 Marshall Avenue.  Upon arrival of SMFD units, smoke was observed coming from the second floor windows.  The sole male occupant of the single-family residence had self-evacuated prior to our arrival.  Crews entered the building and discovered a fire burning in a bathroom on the second floor.  The entire second floor, with the exception of two bedrooms to which the doors were closed, suffered extensive smoke damage. The bathroom suffered damage from the fire, as well as damage from the water used to extinguish the fire. The first floor suffered moderate smoke and water damage. Due to the damage, the occupant was told he could not stay in the house this evening and was offered assistance from the American Red Cross, which he refused stating he had family he could rely on.

The fire was contained to the second floor bathroom.  The probable cause of the fire is careless use of smoking materials based on statements made by the male occupant. No injuries were reported.

Thanks to our firefighters for their continued service, keeping us safe from harm.

(And thanks to Working Still Photos for the images.)

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Filed under Fire, South Milwaukee

Fire Update: Cause Remains “Undetermined”

“After a detailed examination of the scene and interviews with the occupants and witnesses, the area of origin of the fire has been identified as the northwest corner of the enclosed porch. All electrical, mechanical and natural causes have been eliminated, however, the cause of the fire remains undetermined.”

Here is the full press release from the South Milwaukee Fire Department.

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Outdoor Movies: So, What’s Playing?

I’m excited about the return of outdoor movies to downtown South Milwaukee — and even more excited now I know the films that will be showing.

Guardian Credit Union — which has graciously donated to make this event happen — has chosen three great titles for the Thursday evening flicks following the South Milwaukee Downtown Market …

  • August 14: The Lego Movie
  • August 21: Frozen
  • October 9: Hocus Pocus

So, mark your calendars, and stay tuned for more information as the movies get closer.

(FYI: Don’t remember “Hocus Pocus”? Here is more information on what sounds like a fun family-friendly Halloween movie, which caps off the market’s annual season-ending Fall Family Festival event.)

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Filed under Community, South Milwaukee, South Milwaukee Farmers' Market

More Headlines

Check out these South Shore headlines …

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Filed under Headlines, South Milwaukee